Red Apple Residential Building, Sofia Tower Development, Bulgarian Architecture Design

Red Apple Residential Building : Bulgaria Housing

Bulgarian Housing Block: New Homes in Sofia design by AEDES Studio architects

26 Jan 2016

Red Apple Residential Building in Sofia

Design: AEDES Studio

Location: South Park, Ivan Vazov Quarter, Sofia, Bulgaria

New Housing Tower in Sofia, Bulgaria


Residential Building

Red Apple Apartment Building Sofia
photograph : Tsvetomir Dzhermanov

In a place highlighted by its sense of contrast, with no historical background Red Apple represents a building with a past. A new old building which contains the opposites of its surrounding. A starting point is the idea of a residential factory, a building which represents the opposing ideas between old and new. An idea highlighted by the dominating material which represent the concept- the brick.

Red Apple Apartment Building Sofia
photograph : Nedyalko Nedylakov

Red Apple acts as an abandoned factory, turned into a desired place for habitation. Characterized by the opposing ideas of old and new it is made of perforated brick shell. Following the irregular site gives it dynamic and character. Light chimneys perforate the building connecting inside and outside. The central staircase represents a light shaft, around which are the dwellings. The Residential factory unifies the advantages of past and present. It does not just fit its surroundings but delivers the lacking history, past and memories.

Red Apple reflects the contradicting need of maximum personal individualizing and the necessity for a more homogeneous urban fabric. It has a standing out individuality and all of its 61 apartments are different. Through its dissolving boundaries the building is in a close interaction with its surroundings. It is an entire organism embedded in the neighborhood. All of its elements are subordinated to the whole. So it is a continuous urban fabric firmly connected with the existing.

Red Apple Apartment Building Sofia
photograph : Nedyalko Nedylakov

The project was part of a competition held in April 2010 in Sofia. Its construction period was between June 2011 and December 2012.

Architecture, Building and Structure Design

Brick is the main design material of the building but it is rather forgotten in Bulgaria. Therefore there was no sufficient know-how on its up-to-day implementation and it had to be reintroduced to the local seismic conditions. The 13 floors high building along with its brick facade is designed to surpass a 9 by Richter earthquake which required a very specific approach.

In plan the building is almost a triangle 30 by 30 meters with two more vertices on its longest side. The height is about 44 meters.

Brick, Urban Factory, Context, Old-New, Residential, Intermediate Spaces

Red Apple Apartment Building Sofia
photograph : Nedyalko Nedylakov

The building regulations are specific for this plot. The maximum volume allowed is about one sixth bigger than the maximum built area permitted if the storey is 3 meters high. This discrepancy is solved without losing neither area, nor volume, by freeing the surplus areas with 22 double height living rooms in the building.Their area is considered on the ground floor only and not in the void above. In such a way the design takes the maximum from regulations incorporating them in the concept.

Despite the socialist blocks from the 1970s Sofia is a medium-scale city. This new residential building however, contains 61 apartments. Such an amount of people living in one building inevitably leads to the decreasing of their sense of individuality. It is an important issue when designing multifamily residential buildings to preserve some sense of the uniqueness of the individual home and to keep the entity of the building.

Plamen Bratkov, Rossitza Bratkova, Nedko Nedev, Boyan Belchev, Nikolay Chatalbashev, Mila Petrova and Andrey Hodkevich

Tsvetomir Dzhermanov and Nedyalko Nedylakov


Sofbuild is a developer company based in Sofia. They work in the field of residential and office buildings aiming at the upper segment of clients. Therefore the buildings they have so far erected are not numerous but of a high quality. The company concept is to create buildings with a strong individuality, yet in a compliance with the existing urban environment. In order to keep a constant level of quality, they carefully chose for the architects and construct their buildings one at a time.

Red Apple Apartment Building Sofia
photo : Nedyalko Nedylakov

Winner – Red Apple Residential Building Residential Building by Aedes Studio is Winner in Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category, 2014 – 2015.

9 Apr 2013

Red Apple Housing Block

Design: AEDES Studio

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

New Housing in Bulgaria

This residential building (11000 sq.m) with shops and small office part is located near the citycenter between a park and a stadium, amidst concrete blocks from the 70’s.

The building connects past and present using brick, rather forgotten in Sofia.

It has the size of the existing blocks. Seen from different angles it changes proportions.

The façade openings are regular as the brick bond. Some are missing while others appear exaggerated – as huge double-height glazings.

Red Apple Residential Building Sofia Red Apple Residential Building Sofia Red Apple Residential Building Sofia
photos : Nedyalko Nedyalkov

Behind are 6m-high living rooms – contrasting exaggerated spaces. Above the building are skylights, installations or tree-pots like huge building blocks as though the process is unfinished, giving the allusion of a brickyard.

The void in the middle is another exaggerated space changing the inside/outside concept. The volumes and trees create an intermediate zone where the in/out boundaries become permeable. At ground level this is a proper public space.

Private plots in Sofia usually receive fences. Nevertheless this one is open, its space not been taken away but given back to the neighbourhood.

The wall is interrupted by the loggias and the double-height glazings. In the brick-scale the boundary is permeable on the cantilevers, the Flemish bond headers popping halfway out.

The metal-grille balconies seem slightly unfinished reminding of a structure with unexhausted growing potential.

No two apartments are alike. The 20 double-height living rooms result in different floor plans. The entrance space is a two-storey patio accessible to the inhabitants only.

Red Apple Residential Building Sofia Red Apple Residential Building Sofia Red Apple Residential Building Sofia
photos : Nedyalko Nedyalkov

The outer space inside, the loggias, the volumes and trees atop create intermediate temperature zones protecting from overheating. Due to the solstice the popping-out header bricks and the metal-grille balconies function as solar protection in the summer but don’t prevent from heating in winter.
The garage is naturally ventilated.

Red Apple Residential Building images / information from AEDES Studio

Aedes Studio

Location: ul. Byala cherkva 24, Sofia – property by South Park in the Ivan Vazov Quarter, Bulgaria

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Website: Red Apple Housing Complex in Sofia – property